500 Days to go: Manchester to host England and Australia as RLWC2021 nation training bases announced

– Manchester to host the men’s squads from hosts England and holders Australia
– The announcement celebrates 500 days until the opening fixture of RLWC2021

With 500 days to go until the opening fixture of the Rugby League World Cup 2021 (RLWC2021), tournament organisers have announced that Manchester will act as the training base for the men’s teams from England and Australia.

Trafford has the honour of hosting the final of the tournament in November 2021, which will be a first for the sport, as both the women’s and men’s finals will be played back-to-back at the iconic Old Trafford stadium. Often referred to as The Theatre of Dreams, their will certainly be some already dreaming of being part of the final next year.

The squads from the 21 unique nations and 32 teams will be based in different locations and whilst Manchester hosts the English and Australian teams, at a Greater Manchester level Bolton will welcome France and Wigan/Leigh will welcome Lebanon.

All the host cities and towns will form a huge part of making the tournament a success, welcoming players from around the world and adopting them as their own, as they get behind them and cheer them on in 500 days’ time. Following this announcement, the fixtures for all three tournaments will be announced in the coming months.

RLWC2021 has today also revealed new branding for the tournament, celebrating the power of together, focusing on human interest stories and emotional connections, with the goal of connecting with a universal audience.

The new branding will also include bespoke elements from each host, drawing on recognisable icons and displaying the sense of civic pride each host has for its town or city. RLWC2021 will be asking people from each town and city to vote on the icons that make up their custom patterns in the coming months and will be doing something similar for the nations towards the end of the year.

Jon Dutton, RLWC2021 Chief Executive, said: “Today marks another hugely exciting milestone on the road to Rugby League World Cup 2021 as we celebrate 500 days until the opening fixture at St James’ Park in October next year.

“Manchester and Trafford are set to play a pivotal role in RLWC2021, with Old Trafford staging the first ever double-header final, with the men’s and women’s tournament culminating at the Theatre of Dreams, just down the road in Trafford. Manchester has a special history with rugby league, hosting some incredible grand finals over the years, and its people are immensely proud of their area, so there is no doubting that all the nations are guaranteed to get an extremely warm welcome when they arrive.

“Our refreshed tournament identity and today’s nation base announcement can serve as an exciting reminder for the people of Manchester of what’s to come in 2021 as we continue to build momentum towards what promises to be the biggest and best Rugby League World Cup in history.”

Sheona Southern, Managing Director at Marketing Manchester, said: “Building on the legacy of some incredibly sporting moments in 2019 when we hosted the ICC Cricket World Cup and The Ashes; Rugby League World Cup 2021 will be a wonderful opportunity to showcase the region to viewers from across the globe. We are proud to be hosting games across Greater Manchester, including the final in November, and to have several teams base themselves in the region during the tournament. We look forward to providing a very warm welcome next autumn.”

Please visit www.RLWC2021.com for more information and for details on how to sign up to the receive ticket alerts and all the latest news first.



The Rugby League World Cup is the pinnacle major event of rugby league, globally contested every four years. England 2021 will be a breakthrough moment in the tournament’s history with the men’s, women’s and wheelchair competitions being staged together for the first time.

The three tournaments will take place across 21 venues throughout England. Both the women’s and wheelchair competitions will be contested by two groups of four teams, whilst the men’s tournament will see 16 teams compete across four groups.

RLWC2021 will be the most visible rugby league event in history with all 61 games in the men’s, women’s and wheelchair competitions being broadcast live on the BBC.

Mission: Delivering the biggest and best ever Rugby League World Cup.

Vision: Creating inspirational moments that excite, engage and leave a long-lasting legacy.

The event vision is underpinned by five strategic goals:
1. To be the most attended and viewed Rugby League World Cup ever.
2. To deliver a profitable tournament.
3. To leave a long-lasting legacy.
4. To increase profile and visibility for Rugby League.
5. To be the most digitally connected sports entertainment event in 2021.